1/1/11

January 1, 2011

I think I’ll end this year’s Holiday Decorations with this entry. It’s fitting that it’ll be a real hodge-podge of stuff. I have a few videos to add and some pictures from friends (and family) and a little of this and a little of that.

Why not start with a fairy tale setting.

My friend Bruce sent this from the “Northern Kingdom” in the farthest reaches of northern New Hampshire. Hard to believe that something this beautiful just sits there only about a dozen miles from his house. You’ll find another photo from Bruce at the bottom of this entry.

Now…how about a song?

In the spirit yet? Thanks go out to the Winter King for that.

How about some pictures from Florida? My cousins Bill and Diane live down there and these come to me from them.

You’ve gotta love the palm tree!

Bonus picture!

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I do like the Christmas trees. I need to harken back to WV for this one.

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Time to pack ’em up–but before you know it you’ll be hauling them out of the attic again.

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Stars falling from the skies? Space ships blasting off? No, just one of those mistake shots that turn out to be interesting.

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How about a strange, and in a way, spooky Santa?

It shows better in daylight.

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The trees were once again my favorite pictures this year. Here’s a selection:

I even like the “non-tree” trees.

Then there were these wonderful globe lights hanging from the tree in Harrison. I drove by this house at least a half dozen times. Remember these are the size of basketballs.

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My favorite tree picture of this year was:

But nothing can beat my favorite from last year.

A year later I look at it and it still takes my breath away.

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Here’s the next to last picture of the year. My friend Lynne from Florida sent me the link to the blog (Sand in the Gears) that this was featured in.

“Ditto” says it all, doesn’t it?

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May there be smooth sledding ahead for all of us in 2011.

I almost forgot James Franco’s Grandma’s Holiday greetings. By the way if you haven’t seen 127 Hours yet…what are you waiting for. It’s a tough “watch” but let Grandma explain it to you.

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After 17 feet of snow fell

December 27, 2010

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December 25, 2010

December 25, 2010


NY Times looks at Holiday windows

Thanks to my friend Marion for this.

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25-examples-of-christmas-decoration-abuse

My friend, Sarah, sent the link above to me. Thanks.

Last night, Christmas Eve, I went into the city to the IFC movie theater to see IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. What makes it special is that Donna Reed’s daughter, Mary Owen, introduces it and tells wonderful stories about her mother. It’s become a holiday tradition–this is the fifth year that they’ve done it now. A portion of the proceeds go to the Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts.

Acting has an axiom that carries weight in the real world as well. It’s “Remember: there are no small parts, only small actors.” I wanted to make sure I had the quotation correct so I googled it and was surprised to discover that this is actually an attributable quotation. Konstantin Stanislavisky the founder of The Method evidently was the first to say it.

I bring it up because there is no movie I know where this is better displayed then It’s a Wonderful Life. I cannot imagine this movie being as successful without the diligent work of H.B. Warner. “Who the heck is H.B. Warner?”, you ask. He’s the gent who plays Mr. Gower, the owner of the drug store. The man who drunkenly beats George deafening him; the same man who if George never lives becomes the town drunk and spends 20 years in prison for poisoning a child because George wasn’t there to stop it from happening. His entrance in to the bar as wizened and beaten down man is at the heart of this movie–its essential message.

I could list actor after actor in this movie who deserves credit for making it so great–IN FACT–I WILL.  How about Dick Elliott. He’s a face–and a voice–you seen (and heard) in a million movies. He played the man on the porch who grumbles about youth being wasted on the wrong people. A tiny part…miniscule, some might say, but like every role in this film a moment of perfection. A moment of joy.

Samuels S. Hinds as Pa Bailey; Frank Albertson, Sam Wainwright; Gloria Grahame, Violet; Ward Bond as Bert, the cop and Frank Faylen as Ernie the cab driver. Yes, folks, Bert and Ernie. Though the Wikipedia entry claims that the muppet characters with the same names is merely a coincidence I find that a little hard to swallow. Speaking of swallowing how about Sheldon Leonard as Nick the bartender? Sheldon Leonard went on to be a face you’ve seen in a zillion films but more importantly he went on to produce TV shows like: The Dick VanDyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show, mmmm, and I Spy. If he did nothing else he would be a cultural hero for doing one thing–he was the first producer cast a black man, Bill Cosby, as a lead in a television series: “I Spy”.

You get the idea. One last thing you need to keep in mind is that Frank Capra directed it and should be applauded for directing a film that though it might not be the greatest movie ever made it certainly is a film that can be considered nearly perfect.

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2010

 

 

Tonight, in the final part, George finds out that IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE!

 

‘Tis the night before the night before…

December 24, 2010

For all of you who’ve been beneath a rock or have their heads up they’re…chimney, yes, there is just ONE day left.

This house is opposite Manor Park in Larchmont.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the rest of these come from Port Chester.

And now Clarence gives George a great gift: A chance to see what life would be if he’d never been born.

Donner Downer.

December 23, 2010

Yes folks it’s true. The demise of Donner has been confirmed. Last year I was instrumental in exposing the deplorable behavior shown to some of the older elves as they approached the end of their careers when I found them unceremoniously dumped in a trash heap in Harrison (see entries dated 12/5/09 and 12/26/09). This year my crack staff has uncovered the truly ugly spectacle of Donner’s skeletal remains left on the side of the road…strangely enough also in Harrison (see photo). At first it was thought that it might be Rudolph but no red nose was found with the carcass and it has been said that a flashing red nosed reindeer has been spotted in Port Chester. What I think they meant was that the reindeer seen had a red nose that was flashing. Though with reindeer you never know; he could well have been drunk and flashing passers-by in the Costco parking lot.

Be that as it may let this sad news not deter us from enjoying the rest of the holidays so let’s start with some Santas I found in a shop window on Putman Avenue in Greenwich just south of the top end of Greenwich Avenue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we’ll end today with the wonderful Clarence! Now, part 12.


More Wreaths

December 21, 2010

All of these, or nearly all of them, are down in the Manor part of Larchmont.

I wish the one below had come out better. It is really lovely in person. The house is located at Helena Avenue and Pryer Lane in the Manor.

That’s it for tonight. Check out my blog: Things We Need to Make it Thru the Day.

I’m Baaaaaaaack!

December 20, 2010

I think I’ll revisit the Berkeley Springs decorations one more time before the end of the season but for now I’ll show you some wreaths around here.

Below are pictures of these incredible lighted ornaments that hang from a tree on the corner of Seville Avenue and Bellevue Avenue near the entrance to the Westchester Country Club from North Street (Route 127) in Harrison.

 

 

You have to see them.

You can’t really tell how incredible they are unless you go out and see them for yourself. They’re the size of pumpkins. I’ll be going back to see them time and again.

Part 11. Time for George to face his demons.

Fairfax Street, a Castle and…and what?

December 19, 2010

Do you see the telephone pole on the right side of the picture above? Just beyond that is where I’m staying. Of course the horses are a dead giveaway that things are a bit different now then the time shown the post card’s picture.

One thing that’s still there though is the Castle on the hill that overlooks the town.

It’s even got gargoyles that are festively attired.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But enough with the castle.

 

That’s it for tonight. Got an early morning wake up. Headin’ home.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

December 17, 2010

Welcome to the Mountain State!

Yes, that’s right folks I’m doing the blog tonight from West Virginia. Berkeley Springs, West Virginia to be exact. Lovely little town in the northeastern part of the state.

Okay! So tonight I’ve got a few decorations from Berkeley Springs and environs.

To be honest, I was expecting a bit more in the way of holiday decorations but I guess because it is a popular place in the Summer, and much less so in the Winter, it just doesn’t go overboard.

That isn’t to say there aren’t a few pockets with some…how shall I say this…INTERESTING! (i.e. down right peculiar, in some cases) decorations.

But how can you not love “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS”?

 

So, let’s see I think we’re up to part 10 of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE!